Follower of The Way


Continuing Toward a Biblical Theology of Political Engagement

Posted in Christ and Culture,Government & Politics by sosipater on November 13, 2007

Unless you have been under a rock you know that the Presidential Campaign here in the U.S. is in premature full swing. For the Christian who wants to honor Christ, this may bring about the unsavory idea of delving into a media induced coma in order to gain some sort of understanding of the issues and the candidates.

And for some of us, it makes us once again start thinking about the proper role that politics should play in a full orbed, 21st century, Americanized, Christian concept of faith and politics. And that my friends, isn’t always easy.

Some of you may know where my political bent is. I have definitely seen a shift politically over the last few months, from a card carrying neoconservative to what I guess could be called a paleoconservative, or perhaps a classical liberal (not to be confused with modern day leftest liberalism-see link for definition.)

But above political ideology, for the Christian, our faith and our worldview must must reign philosophically supreme. We should not necessarily do politics like everyone else, though common grace sometimes goes a long way in providing capable and just administrations of government. I have brought up the subject before of the politicization of sinful behavior and the detriment I think it can have on not only our Christian witness, but on our very souls. I see this in the bigoted and hateful way we as Christian can speak about those who are our neighbors that we are commanded to love, but we find that difficult when trying to force them to bend to our political wills. I see the inconsistencies of the pro-life movement that doesn’t seem to care about life that has already been born and living in the middle east. And fundamentally, at least in this country, I see Christians politically equate the United States with, well take your pick, either Old Testament Israel, New Testament Israel, or the New Jerusalem (that shining city on a hill).

It is with those thoughts going through my head that I commend an excellent article to you. “Add, don’t Subtract” by Marvin Olasky of World Magazine is a great read. It is a little long by internet standards, but well worth it in my opinion. I don’t agree with everything in it or his somewhat narrow focus (that being “what Christian conservatives should do”), but overall I think it is a great primer on thinking through U.S. politics and little more Biblically balanced.

I’m opening myself up here, but I would REALLY like to know what you think of the article. Here are a few quotes to whet your appetite.

The future of American conservatism depends on the ability of libertarians to understand that liberty without virtue cannot last, and the ability of Christian conservatives to understand that being strong and courageous does not mean demanding ideological purity. Both parts of the coalition need to follow the Reagan practice of reasoning politely and patiently with those who disagree, giving in on secondary matters, and searching for common ground. Both parts of the coalition may need to sacrifice a little.

My oversimplified advice to American Christian conservatives: Be New Testament, not Old Testament. By this I don’t mean that the two parts of revelation are theologically distinct, for as the couplet sums it up, “The New is in the Old contained, the Old is by the New explained.” I am suggesting that the emphasis is different: to generalize enormously, the Old concentrates on subtracting, the New on adding, and the success of the American experiment has hinged on our willingness to add.

The first concerns our culture wars. Year after year Christians have called for boycotts of this or that art exhibition, movie, or television show. For example, in 1999 Christian groups wanted government funding removed from a profane show at the Brooklyn Museum of Art that featured a dung-displaying portrait of the Virgin Mary. The protest led to front-page stories about Christians trying to keep people from viewing art, and to record attendance at the exhibit. It would have been far better to push for a parallel show displaying the work of Christian artists. In 2004 and 2005 we had such parallel shows in the movie theaters: Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (which reaped a rich bonanza in evangelism and ticket sales) and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Both Christian conservatives and libertarians could salute these examples of adding.

Few of my recommended actions would be sufficient for those who demand an Old Testament defense of America as the new holy land, but they’re consistent with the New Testament approach practiced by Paul and others in mixed cultures from Rome to the present: Instead of working fruitlessly to subtract evil from the land, add the good. American conservatism can have a bright future, with God’s grace, if we are strong and courageous in developing positive alternatives to the cultural negativities around us. But if we merely praise our own Christian circles and curse the darkness outside them, we will soon be surrounded by it.

Coram Deo.

UPDATE:  I forgot to give a Tar Heel Finger Point to Justin Taylor’s blog for the assist in bringing this article to my attention.  You can read his post here and for the record, I agree with the 1st comment on his blog.  More government is not the answer to our political problems in this country.  Good comment.

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10 Ways to Avoid Community @ Church

Posted in Miscellaneous by sosipater on November 13, 2007

Man, this list is incredibly, and painfully, insightful.  I relate.  It is sad.  Need more grace.

Source:  askingy.com

I read this post a few days ago and have been inspired to create a similar list about community.

Begin sarcasm…

  1. Keep conversations short.
    You are busy, you have a lot to deal with in your life, if you talk to someone you might get close to them and that takes time and energy that you don’t have. Just keep it short and sweet, don’t bother talking about anything more than the weather. If you don’t know a person is hurting, then you don’t have to do anything about it.
  2. Always sit in your “assigned” seat
    By always sitting in the same seat you always sit around the same people. These folks know the deal, and stick to the appropriate 30 second conversations: weather, sports, how the new preacher is doing, etc. Also, this keeps you from having to venture out, meet new people, and possibly sit next to someone you aren’t familiar with.
  3. Avoid new people
    It’s one thing to deal with all the people that you already know at church, but it’s another to actually meet new people. Seriously, you aren’t good with names, you don’t have the time, or the energy, so just walk right past anyone you don’t know. After all, they won’t notice that you totally avoided them.
  4. Come in late
    Don’t overlook the beauty of this one. By coming in late you totally avoid even the 30 second conversations. And (bonus), you avoid the new people! It just makes life easier.
  5. Leave immediately after the service (or early)
    This has the same benefits as coming in late, with the added benefit of getting on the road more quickly to beat those other churches to eat. This way you get out of that crowded church building so that you can go sit with your people and eat a meal. If you add this method with the coming in late method you could go to a church for years and never meet anyone.
  6. Be physically present but mentally absent
    When talking to someone, pretend to listen by nodding your head and saying “uh huh” while you are really thinking about what show comes on TV later that night. Basically, just don’t engage anyone on any level. After all, you’re just there to put in your “time” and then get on with your life.
  7. Don’t share a meal
    If you goal is to avoid community, this step is of the utmost importance, don’t ask people to lunch! Sharing a meal is an intimate thing that creates deeper relationships. So, when someone asks you to lunch fake a stomach ulcer or something, just get out of it.
  8. Stay very, very busy
    The busier you are, especially on a Sunday, the less time you have to “deal” with people. In fact, attempt to be so busy that when speaking to someone you never even stop walking past them as you say hello.
  9. Make your default response “everything is great”
    People will always ask how you are doing. Make sure that you have your “default” answer ready so that when they ask you are ready to say, “everything is great!” This must be your default response, otherwise you might actually let on that your life is not perfect, or worse, that you are struggling. This colossal mistake could lead to deeper conversation and deeper relationship. If you are going to really avoid community while in church, this is probably your best weapon.
  10. Don’t show up
    This is definitively your best method of avoiding community overall because there is no community where there are no people.

Baptism Debate Tomorrow Night (11/8/07)

Posted in Christian Theology by sosipater on November 7, 2007

Dr. White vs. Gregg Strawbridge.  Click here for info.

Doug Wilson on Pat Robertson’s Presidential Endorsement

Posted in Christ and Culture,Government & Politics by sosipater on November 7, 2007

Go Doug. I don’t think I could have said it ANY better myself. Though I disagree with Giuliani on not only his pro-choice but on practically every other issue also.

You know what evangelical acumen on cultural and political issues is like? It’s like a cold cup of coffee with a cigarette butt in it. It’s like drinking muddy water. It is like a watercolor left out in the rain. It is demented and twaddlesome. It’s things like this that leave me with that wet horse blanket taste in my mouth.

Truer words have rarely been spoken, though in my opinion this problem is far more rampant than just Pat Robertson.

Engaging Culture

Posted in Christ and Culture,Christian Theology,Imago Dei by sosipater on November 3, 2007

Pastor Joe Thorn has a great article over at his blog on cultural engagement.  Go check it out.  Here’s the intro.

What do people mean when they say “cultural engagement?” That phrase is often spurned as if it means thoughtless syncretism between the church and culture. In my reading it rarely means that. It is certainly not what I mean. I am a fan of that three-fold approach to engaging culture: reject what is evil, receive what is good, and redeem what is broken/lost. I think this is a healthy way of thinking about how we should respond to our culture, because our culture(s) is not one thing. It is made up of hundreds of things, bad and good, that demand our attention. I recently spent some time going over this three-fold approach with the folks at Redeemer, but wanted to emphasize that agreeing that we will need to respond by rejecting, receiving, and redeeming actually requires a lot of us.

Order Restored

Posted in Miscellaneous by sosipater on October 29, 2007

Ahhhh…can you smell it in the air? Is it the crisp, cool smell of fall in the air? Not quite. Is it the wonderful aroma of football tailgater’s grilling and smoking gastronomical delights? Not that either.

What is it you may ask? It is the smell of fear and absolute doom on the rest of college basketball as they woke up this week and saw that The Univesity of North Carolina Tar Heels are ranked number 1 in the preseason Associated Press men’s baseketball poll.

Oh man, I can’t wait! I do pity all the Wildcat and Hoosier and Wolfpack and..cough…cough…Dook fans out there. Sorry to say it guys (sorry for you), but order has been restored.

Oh and don’t forget, they’re also picked to win the ACC regular season. Duh!

Yep, Halloween is a Comin’

Posted in Christ and Culture by sosipater on October 25, 2007

acclaim_images_0041-0709-0607-0603.jpgI think I have had a Halloween post every year I have had this blog, so why stop now. My opinion of this “holiday” has changed somewhat over the last few years. Mainly only that I don’t see this as a clear cut issue. I think there are things about Halloween that must be rejected and some that can be embraced.

This is such a complicated issue though. Things like does anybody really know exactly how it started? Each person seems to have their own well researched opinion. And even if we nail down the origins from eons ago, does anybody do it for that reason now? Does that matter or not? I think it should, at least a little. Even though some of you may disagree, I just don’t think this is such a completely clear cut issue.

What got me to thinking was Tim Challies’ post on Halloween, found here. Tim is likewise referencing an article from Grace to You, John MacArthur’s main clearinghouse ministry. I think both are good articles and I agree with Tim for the most part.

My daughter is not of the trick-or-treating age so this isn’t a huge problem yet. My wife and I chose to let her attend a Church “fall festival” last year and will do that again this year. What I really like about Tim’s article is his focus on using this time as a way to build relationships with his neighbors. I think that is a great idea. I have done the dark house on Halloween night before, but what does that really say to my neighbors? They have no idea why I’m doing that, for all they know I’m out at a Halloween party or something. I’m pretty ashamed that I am not as creative as Tim in reaching out to my neighbors. This is something I need to endeavor, with God’s grace, to be more intentional and less apathetic about.

If anybody has any ideas to build community and get to know neighbors at future Halloweens or other traditional community oriented events and holidays (obviously without compromise), feel free to share them here.

Trick or Treat!

The Elder and His Work (Con’t)

Posted in Books,Christian Theology by sosipater on October 14, 2007

“The usefullness of an elder will depend in the long run more on his character than on his gifts and knowledge.  Quiet Christian consistency will give wieght to his words and advice and be a daily lesson to all around.  His walk and conversation, his style of living, his companions and friends, his geniality, his amusements will all have an important influence , not only on his own family, but on the people of his district and congregation.  Young people especially notice,  and get good or evil from, much that they do not speak about to others.  They should learn from us what a Christian is like, not by the frequent use of certain pious expressions, but by the clear, transparent outflow of a life “hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).  Brethren, ,”what manner of persons ought we elders to be in all holy conversation and godliness?” (2 Peter 3:11).”  David Dickson, “The Elder and His Work”, Page 34. 

The Elder and His Work

Posted in Books,Christian Theology by sosipater on October 10, 2007

Weekend before last my family and I took a weekend trip down to Orlando, Fl to visit Sea World.  On Sunday we visited with some friends, one of which is the pastor of a PCA church there.  He was gracious enough to give me a couple of books, and I have found them to be excellent.  The current one I am reading is “The Elder and His Work” by 19th century Scottish Presbyterian David Dickson.  The small book has been edited, the spelling and grammar brought up to date (thankfully!), and explanatory notes added by George MacFarland and Philip Graham Ryken.  For such a small book, I have so far found several quotes that have struck me as profound and useful.  Here is one that I thought was magnifigant and The Lord has used to work in my heart.  I hope you enjoy it.

“Elders should be men of common sense, knowing when to speak and when to hold their tongues.  Even grace does not give common sense, a little of which would settle many controversies and heresies in the church of Christ.  Men of points and pugnacity are very annoying in a session or congregation, and they may rise to be the terror of presbyteries and other church courts.  They may love the truth at heart – and we believe they often do-but they love fighting too.  For such men the grave and quite duties of the eldership have little or no charm.  A carping, censorious spirit is to be watched and prayed against in all of us:  it is often the precursor or companion of backsliding in doctrine or life.  An uneasy conscience likes to find faults in others.  Having many different characteristics  and tempers to deal with, we need as elders to be men of a meek and quiet spirit, not going from one extreme to another-men of practical wisdom and sanctified common sense, and thus able to judge matters calmly and not as partisans.” – David Dickson, “The Elder and His Work”, Page 32-33.

Stay tuned for more quotes.

Wednesday Web

Posted in Books,Christ and Culture by sosipater on October 10, 2007
  • Walking Together Blog reviews Carl F. Henry’s “The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism”.
  •  Steve McCoy links to Will Sampson’s post on living in the Suburbs intentionally.  Here is the run down: 
    • 1) Live with others from your church community. 
    • Whether you share your home with another person or family, or whether you have several families that have homes in close proximity or both, sharing life together is perhaps the most powerful (i.e., going against the grain of suburban culture) way to be the body of Christ in suburbia. If you can’t live together, at least find a way to share resources (power tools, lawn mowers, children’s clothes/toys, etc).
    •  2) Work Less!
    •  One of the major powers that enslaves suburbia is the idolization of the career. There are many ways to pay the bills that do not involve a 9-5 job, and even within a 9-5 job, there are ways to work less (turning down promotions, taking unpaid leave, etc.) Working less will free you to serve your church community, your family, your neighbors, etc. It will also spur creativity: finding a solution for working less, finding a way to “make ends meet” financially, etc.
    • 3) Throw out the television.
    • Another (and perhaps larger power) that enslaves suburbia is consumerism. You’ll be amazed at how your desire for things ebbs as you take the TV out of the picture. If you can’t bring yourself to kill the television, at least take steps to lessen its influence (get rid of cable, only use it for movies, put it on a cart that can be wheeled in and out of a closet, etc.) Throwing out the television will also stimulate your creativity.
    • 4) Drive less.
    •   Suburban culture is also enslaved to the automobile. Find ways to loosen those bonds (much more difficult in suburbia than in urban areas). Share a vehicle with others in your church community (much easier if you are doing #1 above). Invest in a good bicycle. Walk. There was a segment on “60 minutes” a few weeks ago about how much we miss when we zip around in automobiles. Walking and/or biking will help you be more attentive to your surroundings
    • 5) Have a garden / grow food. 
    •  Suburban life is often very shut off from the food cycle (Food comes from the grocery store, of course!). Homegrown food is more healthy, it gives you a good excuse to be outside (see #7 below), and it provides you with a resource to share generously with your church community and your neighbors. Phil Kenneson outlines a number of horticultural lessons for the people of God in his intro to LIFE ON THE VINE that are additional benefits of this practice.
    • 6) Get to know your neighbors / listen for their needs. 
    •  To be human is to be poor. Or in other words, everyone has needs. The challenge of suburbia is that there are many more ways to conceal that poverty, and similarly that it will take more effort to get into a position where a neighbor can reveal their needs. Be intentional about building relationships. Share meals, play poker, have block parties, whatever it takes.
    • 7) Be outside as much as possible. 
    •  Another temptation of suburbia – fueled by individualism – is that of the house as an impenetrable fortress. Dissolve this temptation by eating, playing, relaxing outside. This practice is also one avenue to interact with your neighbors.
    • 8) Do not fence in your yard. 
    • All apologies to Robert Frost, but fences do not make good neighbors, and in fact they often keep us from making good human neighbors. This is a corollary to #7, the fence is a major component of the impenetrable fortress syndrome; it protects our privacy and keeps out our “evil” neighbors. It often is a statement of distrust. If you must have a fence (to corral a dog for instance) make it as low and as permeable (i.e., not blocking off the view) as you can get away with.
    • 9) Take a stand against the greed of mega-corporations. 
    • Whenever possible, resist buying from domineering mega-corporations (e.g., Wal-mart, McDonalds, Starbucks, and others). These corporations destroy local economies and have little or no concern for the environment. Buy as much as you can from businesses that are as local as possible (family-owned businesses are preferable to local chains, local chains are preferable to regional chains, and regional chains are preferable to global corporations.)
    • 10) Utilize and support non-commercial public spaces (parks, libraries, colleges, etc.). 
    •  This point is another corollary of #7 above. We must utilize and show our support for these public spaces, lest they be conquered by the powers of individualism (by becoming private property) or by consumerism (by becoming commercial or industrial property). This is also a wonderful way to foster relationships with our neighbors.

Interesting stuff.  I would take some disagreement with number 9, but I understand his point and do think we should support the enterprises of our neighbors, not forgetting a lot of our neighbors work at Wal-Mart and Lowe’s.  And as far as the environment goes, I doubt many companies want to destroy their own property through pollution.  Anyway, I’m degressing big time.  Thoughts?

History of Christology

Posted in Books,Christian Theology by sosipater on October 7, 2007

For those of you who don’t regularly check in at the Desiring God Blog, check out this post from a few days ago entitled “A Call to Christology”.  From my vantage point it seems evangelical Christianity needs a good dose of the history of the Theology of Christology.  Don’t cults and heretics seem to just reuse the same errors and completely whacked out beliefs about Jesus.  Isn’t that really the most direct and frontal assault on the Christian faith, the attempt to undermine and twist the Biblical understanding of the central figure and person with whom our faith is built on?

So the main point of the blog is to bring to our attention a new book by Stephen Nichols, “For Us and For Our Salvation: The Doctrine of Christ in the Early Church”.  Looks excellent.  You can buy it by clicking on the link for the book.  Guess I need to add it to the wish list (see at the right side of the blog).  (By the way, my birthday is coming up and and its not too late for gift giving enthusiasts to peruse my Amazon wish list and click away!)

Driscoll Going Off (Deservedly So)

Posted in Christian Theology by sosipater on September 25, 2007

Please Pray

Posted in Miscellaneous by sosipater on September 23, 2007

Friends,

Please pray for the Piper family in the loss of Pastor John Piper’s stillborn grandaughter, Felicity Margaret Piper.

Coram Deo.

Latest CT Article on Mark Driscoll

Posted in Christ and Culture,Christian Theology by sosipater on September 22, 2007

Collin Hansen of Christianity Today has a new article out about Mark Driscoll titled “Pastor Provocateur”.  I’ve read both of Driscoll’s books but this article has some new things that are interesting.  Among the negative stuff is John MacArthur’s criticism of Driscoll’s cultural sensitivity which Pastor Mac calls his “infatuation with the vulgar aspects of contemporary society”.  Although this is not surprising coming from what I would consider a mild fundatmentalist mindset,  I would still like to know exactly what MacArthur is referencing.  Also MacArthur likes to throw around a lot of guarantees and certaintees these days about things that don’t seem that clear cut.  (re: this and his lecture on eschatology earlier this year)  I think Driscoll makes a good point in that he would gladly sit down and take advice from MacArthur, but the offer was never extended.  That is unfortunate.  Here is the conclusion of the article.

“Fundamentalism is really losing the war, and I think it is in part responsible for the rise of what we know as the more liberal end of the emerging church,” Driscoll says. “Because a lot of what is fueling the left end of the emerging church is fatigue with hardcore fundamentalism that throws rocks at culture. But culture is the house that people live in, and it just seems really mean to keep throwing rocks at somebody’s house.”

Few but Driscoll’s friends come to his defense, because no one else can peg him. That’s fine with Driscoll, so long as his band of acculturated missionaries sticks to their tasks. Hundreds of young ministers planting churches around the world, they understand him. They cut him slack as he searches for the balance between provocative and sensitive.

“You can’t escape your upbringing,” says Darrin Patrick, vice president of Acts 29. “Mark is a street fighter.”

And even the Good Shepherd had to fight off wolves.

Interview with Steve Wellum

Posted in Books,Christian Theology by sosipater on September 11, 2007

A while back I recommended the Book “Believers’ Baptism:  Sign of the New Covenant in Christ”. (At least I think I did, I can’t find the post right now).  Well, Justin Taylor has an informative interview with Steven Wellum, the author of one of the best chapters in the book.  The chapter is on Baptism and the Relationships Between the Covenants and can be read here for free.

Forgotten Henry

Posted in Books,Christ and Culture,Christian Theology,Government & Politics,History by sosipater on September 6, 2007

Check out Timmy Brister’s post on Carl Henry here.

Francis Schaeffer and the Pro-Life Movement

Posted in Christ and Culture,Christian Theology,History by sosipater on September 6, 2007

Reforming Students

Posted in Christ and Culture by sosipater on September 2, 2007

My experience tells me that there is a profound lack of good, solid, theologically reformed, biblically informed, information out there on youth ministry, unless they are saying just get rid of it.  I am sure there are several reasons for that.  I’m also sure I am just missing some things too. 

Because of this situation, I am excited to point you to a new blog by my friend Nick called Reforming Students:  God Centered Student Ministry.  Some are probably thinking, is that even possible?  Well, join the conversation and try and figure it out!

Christ is the Center of the Scriptures

Posted in Books,Christian Theology by sosipater on September 2, 2007

Check out this excellent review at the Walking Together blog on Graeme Goldworthy’s book Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture. 

I am excited at the very premise.  All the scriptures point to Christ.  Any Christian theology without Christ at the center isn’t any Christian theology.  And preaching should expose this Christ centeredness that every part of the Bible contains.

 Note:  You can purchase this book here.

Jason Bourne and the Gospel

Posted in Art,Christ and Culture by sosipater on September 1, 2007

200px-bourneposter.jpgI haven’t written much on the movies I’ve seen lately.  Not because they don’t make me think about life and man’s nature and the Gospel, but because I just haven’t had much time.  Fortunately there are plenty of folks out there who do have the time.  One of those is Mike Metzger of the Clapham Institute.  He offers some good insights on the Jason Bourne trilogy, of which the third installment, The Bourne Ulitimatum, is as excellent as the first two.  Enjoy reading it and bringing the arts under the reflection of the Gospel.

Dangers of being a “Warrior”

Posted in Christ and Culture by sosipater on August 24, 2007

In my GLAAD post a few posts back I unintentionally open a couple of cans when I was initially focused on one.  What I was trying to emphasize was how easy it is to fall in an “us vs. them” mentality when we take on a “culture war” mentality, and that the politicization of certain sins over others does not help in that regard.

In that vain, I wanted to point you to this post over at Between Two Worlds.  It is a good statement and basically the one I was trying to make.  I’m going to quote the whole thing just for ease of reading.

Jack Collins, Science and Faith, pp. 331-332:

It’s pretty common to hear that we’re in a culture war—the traditionalists and the secularists are fighting over who will control the culture. There is a sense in which the image is right: as we will see in the next chapter, there are worldviews that are at odds with each other, and therefore it’s no surprise that we find conflict. The image is a dangerous one, though, because it can lead us to look at everything in combatant terms: people who disagree with us become our enemies, and we have to defeat them. If you are my enemy, and I am a Christian, then—even if you’re a Christian too—you must be morally defective.

Three further dangers follow from this warfare imagery. The first is that we can forget that worldviews involve not just philosophical positions but also moral commitments; and that back behind unbelief there lies a demonic enslaver. As Paul put it in Ephesians 6,

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. . . . 18 [Pray] at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints . . .

There is a spiritual component to this battle; and therefore, all our intellectual efforts must express our faithfulness to Christ and must be bathed in prayer. We must never use the weapons of unbelief—dishonesty, slander, name-calling, and so on. The second danger, related to the first, is that we can forget that the unbeliever is not the person we’re fighting against; rather, he is the person we are fighting for: that is, the purpose of all this is to free people from their slavery to the Devil. The third danger that arises is that we can forget that any Christian—and any Christian church—always has only a partial grasp of a fully Christian worldview; and even those parts that we grasp rightly, we practice only partly. So some of our “warfare” ought to be against our own imperfections!

The warfare image is a biblical one, to be sure; but we will do well to be careful how we use it.

Are Modern Epics Christian?

Posted in Christ and Culture by sosipater on August 23, 2007

In “The Christian Resonances of Moder Epic” at The American Spectator, Hal G.P. Colebatch compares modern movie “epics” such as The Lord of The Rings, Star Wars, and the Harry Potter series with some classic literary works, mainly, Dante’s Divine Comedy and C.S. Lewis’ Preface to Paradise Lost.  He has some interesting things to say about common themes that run throughout each of these works and where these themes may come from.  Here is a snippett:

In each case a crucial reason for the Enemy’s defeat is the hero’s willingness to sacrifice his own life. But another crucial reason is the fact (set out by Boethius in The Consolations of Philosophy just after the end of the Roman Empire in the West) that evil cannot understand good as good can understand evil. Evil cannot understand love and self-sacrifice.

John Farese Testimony

Posted in Christian Theology,Miscellaneous by sosipater on August 23, 2007

 [THFP: Provocations and Pantings]

Luther on Diapers

Posted in Christian Theology,Miscellaneous by sosipater on August 18, 2007

I like this post over at Gospel Prism.  Check it out.

Wilson on Political Power

Posted in Government & Politics by sosipater on August 16, 2007

Here is a good word from Doug Wilson on political power.  You can read the whole post here.  

But Christians need to recognize that wherever power accumulates, a certain kind of man will necessarily gather. Here in the dog days of summer, when we sit down to enjoy a dinner on the lawn, all we have to do to get yellow jackets to appear is sit down with a hamburger and a slice of watermelon. The yellow jackets know we are there within minutes. They know. And whenever a government gathers power to itself, whether in the name of right, middle, or left, cruel, ambitious, self-serving men will instantly gather.

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